Posts Tagged ‘war’

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By @anarchyroll

What do you call a transgender person in the military who provides Wikileaks with access to one of the largest data collections of the US military to ever be made public?

Her name is Chelsea Manning. When she first made world-wide headlines she was known as Bradley Manning. A person at the center of one of the biggest news stories of all time. Manning will finally walk out of military prison this spring. Barack Obama commuted the sentence on one of his final days in office.

There is something about giving up ones freedom to expose not simply the truth, but the hidden truth. The hidden truth that has been hidden purposefully. The hidden truth that has been hidden purposefully by people in positions of power and authority.

We all see injustice in our lives. Living life means to witness injustice. There is so much good in the world, but there is also a lot of bad. To stare the good in face and actually do something about it is commendable. To do something knowing there will be a negative personal consequence is admirable. When those consequences are solitary confinement in military prison, well, now we’re talking about a whole new level.

Cowardice is the standard in the developed world. Bravery is showcased in clothing choices and mate selection. Passive aggressive no longer aptly fits the abeyant nature of the modern condition.

Many were too scared to even look at some of the video material Manning leaked. Many more don’t have the conviction to read much of the other material manning leaked that shows the true nature and motives of modern warfare. It makes sense that many of those same people would reflect their self-hatred for those failures of character onto someone who has them in spades and is one of those millennial cross dressers to boot.

There are many people who don’t even want to look another person in the eye on the bus, at the coffee shop, or waiting in line at the grocery store. Are people like that going to stare down solitary confinement in a military prison in the face, and still take action to serve the greater good in the face of being called a traitor by their government and fellow (hu)man?

We accept many wrongs as the norm. Chelsea Manning refused to do this. The price for consent or defiance of these norms is the same, freedom. The norm is to accept our gender whether we are congruent with it or not. The norm is to accept what the Military Industrial Complex does regardless of cost or collateral damage. Both of these norms are very powerful and entrenched.

Just as passive aggressive is no longer a suitable term for confrontation in the modern condition, brave is not a suitable term for what Chelsea Manning has done for the global village. A living, breathing dark knight. Hated and maligned for being very ordinary yet willing to do the extraordinary without care for the personal cost she must pay and has paid.

Not a martyr, a harbinger. A symbol of the future. A future where we don’t accept or stay silent about what is wrong regardless of perceived norms. A symbol of hope. Hope for every confused coward that walks through life in a daze that they can tangibly change themselves and the world. An icon of the millennial generation that desperately needs heroes of substance over style.

by @anarchyroll
10/2/2014

So is the US at war with Syria or what?

This question and the “counter terrorism campaign” that the United States is engaging in with ISIS/ISIL is a teaching lesson for both entire world. The lesson is that the definition of war is different than it was before the year 2000. War is now, predominately, airstrikes and bombings from remote-controlled, unmanned, flying drones.

The reason President Obama and the media have been using the term “boots on the ground” so early and often recently, is because boots on the ground is how most people think of war. People think of war as ground troops, trenches, tanks, hummers and so on. Men fighting men, or person fighting person on the ground with swords, guns, etc is what people envision when a war is being fought since the beginning of time. That is no longer the case, or perhaps a better way to put it is, ground troops are no longer required for America to be at war.

How/Why? Because America’s wars are now fought with drones.

A formal declaration of war is no longer required to go to war. We have learned that over the past half century with America’s involvement with North Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. What we are learning over the past decade is that human soldiers or boots on the ground, are also no longer required to go to war. We now send unmanned, weaponized, flying drones.

But war is war no matter what we or the government may like to call it. 30 dead school children is not a by-product of an airstrike gone awry, it is collateral damage of a war.

We’ve also learned in the last decade that we don’t need a country to go to war with. That’s not liberal sarcasm. Al-Qaeda is not a country and neither is ISIS. Remember in 2001 when George W. Bush declared a “War on Terror”? Well that wasn’t a metaphor. We were at war in Afghanistan before the end of 2001 and by mid 2003 we were at war in Iraq. Under Obama we have been at war in Yemen and Somalia. The difference between Bush and Obama’s wars? Bush’s involved human soldiers, Obama’s involve drones.

So now in addition to our drone wars in Yemen and Somalia, we are carrying out additional drone wars in Syria and Iraq.

Although those drones are physically unmanned aircrafts, they are still piloted by humans via remote control. Did you know that remote control drone operators suffer from post traumatic stress disorder just like ground troops do? Why wouldn’t they? They’re soldiers engaging in the hell that is war.

Let us not be fooled or fool ourselves, America is at war. America is perpetually at war. America is constantly at war. Why? Well there are those in the world that if left unchecked would commit a 9/11 style attack on our country every hour on the hour. That fact can’t be denied. Pandora’s box has been opened in regards to the militarized, religious radicals of the middle east trying to jihad America until the country is nothing more than rubble and ashes. The other reason we are perpetually at war however, is the Military Industrial Complex.

Make not mistake and don’t let yourself be fooled. There are real threats to America’s safety in the world AND the Military Industrial Complex is in the business of keeping America engaged in military action for the same reason McDonald’s wants as many people to eat hamburgers as humanly possible. Drones help keep the body count down, and keeps the money coming in. Until the latter somehow changes, America will always be perpetually at war regardless of the size or severity of any and all threats against us.

 

by @anarchyroll
1/14/2014

Who is Mikhail Kalashnikov? He invented the AK 47? The most notorious gun the world by a mile with the magnum 357, M16, and M4 with grenade launcher bringing up the rear. Nothing comes with the realm as the AK 47, just ask any fan of the James Bond franchise.

Kalashnikov died last month at the age of 91, a very very very very wealthy man. He had that military contractor money, aka fat stacks to the sky. He had that, all the money in the world, kind of money. He has the go to military arms dealer during the height of the cold war. So why is this the first line in a letter her wrote to a priest “”The pain in my soul is unbearable.” ???

A man who wasn’t just rich but wealthy, a hero’s hero to his country. Pain in his soul?

Because facing death makes one look back on life more independently, because we separate from our ego as we enter or complete the final chapter of our physical lives. Kalashnikov always knew deep in his soul he was making money literally from murder, death, and destruction. He knew he made the world a worse place while making his fortune.

I personally think anyone who works on Wall Street, for an oil/gas company, for a utility company, fast food company, tobacco firm, or as a lobbyist should read his quotes and wonder if they will think they same of themselves when they eventually die. People who make money polluting the earth, gauging people for money for basic elements of survival, make people sick and/or unhealthy, and influence legislation at the expense of the many for the sake of the few. What will they think of themselves, their lives, legacies when they are inevitably on their death bed?

This isn’t just CEOs, this goes all the way down to the clerks. Whether religious or not, none of us escape death, and we need not worry about St. Peter we need only about the last time we look in the mirror. We are responsible for our legacies. All the money in the world cannot buy one’s way into heaven or piece of mind and spirit when we are about to die.

Kalashnikov’s quote made me think about beginning with the end in mind, a principle of Stephen Covey. It made me think about the quest to have a comfortable living and peace of mind. It made me think about tribal society and how we’re all in this together whether we want it to be that way or not.  It made me think hedge fund managers, shady investment bankers, private military contractors will eventually think and feel what Kalashnikov thought on his death bed. What does it make you think of?